How to expand the ROI of virtual events
As online events have become the new normal, many of us have begun to wonder how we can go above and beyond and maximize our return on investment (ROI) in this new medium
In the wake of COVID-19, many businesses have taken to organizing and hosting virtual events to communicate with partners and existing and potential customers. Now, as online events have become the new normal, many of us have begun to wonder how we can go above and beyond and maximize our return on investment (ROI) in this new medium.
What is ROI?
Return on investment (ROI) is a way to evaluate the profitability and effectiveness of an investment you make. Measuring a virtual event’s ROI is an easy way for marketers and event organizers to quantify its reach and impact and whether it has achieved the business objectives it had set out to meet.
Defining your virtual event goals
Every virtual event is hosted with a purpose. Figuring out what you want to achieve with the event is the first step to calculating and eventually maximizing your ROI.
Common KPIs and trackable metrics
Some common KPIs and their measurable metrics include:
· Increasing brand awareness and exposure
You can quantify brand awareness and exposure with event registration numbers and event page views, media coverage of the brand around the web, and, if applicable, social media engagements such as followers, likes, shares, and comments.
· Increasing attendee engagement
To measure attendee engagement, you can track the number of live poll participants, questions asked during Q&As, one-on-one appointments set up, workshops and training sessions attended, media downloads, and surveys filled out.
· Acquiring leads, making sales, and generating revenue
Most businesses host virtual events to acquire leads, make sales, and generate revenue. These can be tracked through event ticket sales, the number of email sign-ups, new subscribers and customers, and the number of one-on-one business meetings set up and attended.
Strategies for expanding the ROI of your virtual event
Generating a satisfying ROI with a virtual event is not too different from a physical event. Yet, while the baseline is to generate a positive ROI, there are always ways to expand your return without drastically increasing your investment. Below are some ways you can continually expand your ROI:
Increase your reach
Virtual events are not bound by physical limitations, and organizers can host up to hundreds and thousands of attendees without worrying about additional costs such as catering and accommodation. If one of the KPIs of your virtual event is audience engagement and brand awareness, you can increase your reach by casting a wider net in your event marketing and promotion. Including more demographics will likely see an increase in ticket sales and event attendance, which can increase leads generated, audience engagement, and brand awareness.
Set up paid online ticketing
If one of your virtual event’s KPIs is to generate revenue, setting up paid online ticketing is an excellent way to contribute to your overall earnings. That said, people are much more likely to pay for an event when it offers something of value in return. To establish authority and create a draw for your virtual event, you can invite notable speakers such as experts, public figures, and respected business professionals to give presentations and talks. As a virtual event organizer, you can also establish a tier system in pricing and offer attendees the option to choose from multiple ticket types that grant them different levels of access. This gives people greater freedom to find one that meets their needs and budget, making them more likely to purchase a ticket.
Create high-quality content
By investing in high-quality content such as blog posts, YouTube videos, social media posts, infographics, and more, you can lay the groundwork in shaping your business into one that is trustworthy and authoritative. With regular social media posting of new and engaging content, you can also increase brand awareness and build relationships with current and potential customers. When you finally organize and host your virtual event, having an established network of an engaged audience can boost your ROI. They will be much more interested in your products and services than the average person and, therefore, more likely to participate and make purchases.
Include Calls to Action (CTAs)
To expand the ROI of your virtual event, you can add and adjust Calls to Action (CTAs) as it fits your KPI and insert them after event sessions, either in person or in the event material. Suppose you are looking to grow your audience and increase brand awareness. In that case, at the end of a workshop or presentation, you can take a few minutes to ask attendees to follow your business on social media or subscribe to your newsletter. You can also send out digital flyers post-session, with links to your social media accounts or subscribe buttons. Those who have enjoyed the session or found it worthwhile will be likely to follow and subscribe to your brand profiles online, and you can cultivate your relationships with them further.
Repurpose and redistribute event content
Many organizers may focus their marketing efforts before or during the virtual event. However, repurposing and redistributing content post-event can also give your ROI an extra boost. With the consent of event speakers, different presentations, workshops, and training sessions recorded can be uploaded onto your business’s social media accounts to be watched and shared, which can increase brand exposure and audience engagement. Alternatively, recorded sessions can be uploaded online and converted into gated or paid content to generate traffic, leads, conversions, and revenue.
The final way to expand your ROI is to minimize the cost of your virtual event. This does not mean skimping on resources—rather, it is about allocating them wisely. As a virtual event organizer, you have already saved on overhead and operational costs present in in-person events, such as on-site staff, travel and accommodation, and event catering. You can further maximize your savings by going digital in your event swag. Instead of mailing attendees company-branded mugs and T-shirts to thank them for their participation, your business can offer digital masterclasses, free consultations, and exclusive and valuable digital content. Reaching out to corporate sponsors to help fund part of the event in return for promotion and exposure can also minimize event costs, and so can focusing marketing efforts online instead of printing any promotional material.
How Virtual Hive can help
Virtual Hive is a leading digital meeting platform for virtual and hybrid conferences, meetings, fairs, and tradeshows. Our founders have over two decades of experience in the events industry, and we are dedicated to creating unique experiences for our users and organizers alike. Our virtual events platform is equipped with features that can help make the most out of your virtual event when you host with us.
Real-time and post-event insights
To successfully measure your virtual event’s ROI, keeping track of its performance metrics and insights is vital. At Virtual Hive, all our virtual events are supplemented with an events dashboard that supplies real-time data to conference and fair owners about visitors, user journeys, interactions, and more. We also provide detailed metrics for individual stall and booth owners and the event organizer to measure an accurate number of generated leads and conversions. Post-event, we can provide you with a comprehensive data package to review its performance. Should you decide to repurpose and redistribute your content to expand your ROI, you can also use this data to measure the effectiveness of your actions.
Fully customizable, multi-track sessions
Our fully customizable virtual events platform can also help increase audience engagement and encourage attendee participation by supporting different interaction styles. Our virtual venue has a contemporary atmosphere with award-winning architectural design and Nordic-style lighting. It is fit to host large virtual conferences, tradeshows, fairs. As an event organizer, you can integrate polls, Q&As, and more to drive interaction in talks and presentations. You can also conduct workshops and training, and breakout sessions for users to network in small groups. Additionally, booths can be set up in virtual fairs and tradeshows for businesses to engage one-on-one with existing and potential customers. Our multi-track design allows users to make the most out of their time at any event you host. Our myriad of interaction styles also allows organizers and hosts to catch the attention of attendees at every turn and provide plenty of opportunities for engagement.
Hosting with Virtual Hive is also sponsor-friendly.Our virtual events platform focuses on usability, performance, and security. It can be run in multiple environments, including well-known cloud providers like AWS and Azure. If you or your sponsors have specific requirements regarding privacy and security, our platform is also supported in more local and dedicated hosting environments.This is perfect for event organizers to collaborate with partners and sponsors to keep the costs of large-scale virtual conferences and fairs down and make the most out of each event.
Get started with Virtual Hive
An annual license with Virtual Hive starts from 6,700 EUR (50,000 DKK). This license grants event organizers full access to our secure and fully customizable platform. We aim to ensure every business gets the most out of their virtual events, and we can also provide smaller packages upon consultation. To get a complete picture of our virtual events platform and our services, you can learn more about its features. If you already have a plan for a virtual event in mind, you can also get in touch with us today for a helping hand in maximizing its ROI.